Why Mentorship Matters

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Ep. #803 - Why Mentorship Matters

In this episode of Startup Hustle, you will understand why mentorship matters to entrepreneurs. Matt DeCoursey and Matt Watson share their thoughts about the topic as well as their experience as both a mentor and a mentee.

Covered In This Episode

Matt DeCoursey always asks, “What’s easier? Climbing up the mountain yourself or asking those on top to pull you up?” Mentorship means different things to different people. But does it really matter for entrepreneurs?

The Matts are back, and in this episode, they talk about why mentorship matters. In their talk, they defined mentorship and the importance of networking and shared some statistics about mentorship and training. They also shared their own experience in being a mentee and a mentor. In addition, the Matts also shared weird and funny mentoring stories and how to catch a mentor’s attention.

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  • Introduction: Matt Watson is getting his own weekly show (1:17)
  • Mentorship comes in different forms (2:14)
  • Common things/questions that people ask (8:12)
  • Who gives good advice? (10:26)
  • Success is not a linear path (12:53)
  • The best tacos are sold in taco trucks (13:57)
  • The importance of networking (15:24)
  • Knowledge transfer(16:28)
  • Fortune 500 organizations have a formal mentoring program (18:51)
  • Mentoring and training works (19:27)
  • How to get a mentor’s attention for mentorship (24:01)
  • Weird mentorship stories (27:20)
  • Kansas City mentoring scene (34:26)
  • How to find mentors (35:52)
  • Wrapping up (38:35)

Key Quotes

A lot of times, we all just don’t know what we don’t even know. And it amazes me that I learned stuff from people I meet. And I had coffee with a random dude today and enjoyed the conversation. And I’m sure he probably learned a lot, a lot of things from me. But you never know what you’re going to learn and who you’re going to connect with. And at the end of the day, just the more people you talk to, the more you can learn.

Matt Watson

I’m just saying it’s never a linear path. And the idea that your airtight plan is going to stay airtight is stupid because it’s not.

Matt DeCoursey

I really have learned that knowledge transfer is important. So you’re selfish. If you keep it, someone else was kind and generous and gave it to you. And it’s your job to pass it along to others. And I think that if you don’t do that, the world finds a weird and interesting way to not award you with new knowledge.

Matt DeCoursey

Just be willing to ask for help. I’m gonna do it. I need some help. I don’t know what I don’t know. But I know I need help. Just be willing to take the help.

Matt Watson

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Rough Transcript

Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!

Matt DeCoursey 0:00
And we’re back! Back for another episode of Startup Hustle, Matt DeCoursey with Matt Watson. Hi, Matt.

Matt Watson 0:06
And we’re back with another episode of the Startup Hustle. What’s up, man?

Matt DeCoursey 0:10
I’m the host. No, dude, I’m the host.

Matt Watson 0:12
No, I’m your mentor and host.

Matt DeCoursey 0:15
Oh, well, but you have your own weekly show now,

Matt Watson 0:18
right? No, I’m excited about it. I hope everybody’s I know.

Matt DeCoursey 0:21
But our producer, Jessica, it’s sent you the guests link, which by the way, it’s the same length that I have as the host. But I felt like I really squared that away. But you’re going to mentor me?

Matt Watson 0:34

Matt DeCoursey 0:35
You’ve mentored me on a couple things.

Matt Watson 0:38
I mean, you have done 800 episodes of a podcast. So maybe you could mentor not me how to be a better host,

Matt DeCoursey 0:43
No, that says that says the team that says the team. And you know, it’s funny as I don’t even know how many I’ve been on the estimate is 600. However, we’re gonna count soon. But yeah, so but thanks to Lauren and Andrew for helping us get to that number. And, you know, while we’re talking about it, if you’re if you’re not aware, you’re you might be used to listening to me and Matt on episodes together. And if you listen to the really old school ones, Matt and I with guests a while back, we just decided we were going to do one on one conversations. And that’s our current shows format, but now has a weekly show. And that’s coming out right around now. Right now.

Matt Watson 1:21
Yeah, it’s been a lot of fun. So now both Matts have weekly shows.

Matt DeCoursey 1:25
True. So you when you say your favorite week, your weekly favorite show is hosted by Matt. Yeah, the two for one. So yeah. Back to the more serious stuff like mentioning that today’s episode, Startup Hustle is brought to you by FullScale.io. Helping you build a software team quickly and affordably. We’re gonna talk about why mentoring matters. And, you know, man, I think this is a topic that you and I both feel strongly about. Because you and I, well, I think we’ve both had great mentors in the past, and people that have taken an interest in our success in a number of ways, shapes and forms. But also, I think we are both very active in the community when it comes to making ourselves available to give others advice. So you know, as we as we get into that discussion, I mean, what are your thoughts on it?

Matt Watson 2:14
Well, I think the key word there is advice, right? Like, it doesn’t even have to be a, you know, real structured mentor type thing at the end of the day. It’s advice, right. And a lot of times, we all just don’t know what we don’t even know. And it amazes me, you know, people I meet, and I learned stuff from them, right? And I, I had coffee with a random dude today and enjoyed the conversation. And I’m sure, he probably learned a lot, a lot of things for me. But you know, you never know what you’re going to learn and who you’re going to connect with, and people you’re going to meet, and you just never know. And at the end of the day, just the more people you talk to, the more you can learn.

Matt DeCoursey 2:52
Yeah, and you know, I think mentorship comes in a number of ways, shapes and forms. And you know, some of that some of that is really kind of determined by the relationship that you have with the person. Now, I’ll just use this, you know, we like to use our own our own lives and examples. So Andrew Morgans, who is, you know, hosted weekly show, and as the CEO and founder, Marknology. has been, I have been his official mentor for several years. And with that, I take a, what does that mean? Well, for me, if I agree to do that with someone, that means I’m going to have priority with taking your calls or giving you input and advice, it also means that I have a couple of rules that come with it, which means you can’t get mad at me if I don’t tell you what you want to you don’t want to hear amen. And also the rule is don’t waste my time. So you know, some of that is, you know, but Andrew’s taken it seriously. In fact, when I express looking for other mentees, he said, Well, that doesn’t mean I’m out. But I think this is you know, this, I’ve had a lot of people over the years, and sometimes it’s people you work with, sometimes it’s people you’re around some of his friends and family. So Matt, who’s who’s mentored you in the past?

Matt Watson 4:07
You know, I’d honestly say I’ve never really had officially a mentor, but I’ve definitely learned this one either. Yeah, but I’ve definitely learned a lot from different people that I’ve worked with along along the way. And I definitely say I learned a lot working with Craig Farrell at StackFire, I got to give him a shout out. He was our chief operating officer, and he’s just very more operational. You know, I’m like the product vision guy that kind of runs around like crazy, sometimes as a little more ADHD. And he’s like, he was a guy that’s a little more grounded and thinking about tactically How do we do stuff operationally dealing with HR and people and all that kind of stuff? And it was just, I was just enjoyed working with him. And and I wouldn’t necessarily call it mentoring but just working with him and learning. You know, how he works and how to do things and how he thinks about things and whatever and They call that a mentor, not just, you know, learning from the, you know, other people right at the end of the day. And I feel like I learned a lot from him from a business perspective and managing people perspective. So I really appreciated my time working with him, I miss him.

Matt DeCoursey 5:15
Yeah, and that and so in the workplace, obviously, people you work with being exposed to every day is important. I mean, honestly, man, I’ve learned a lot from you. Over the years, I think we’ve learned a lot from each other, or, you know, over several years. And, and I, you know, I think that that’s always a good thing. And you know, then there’s one, one person who neither one of us have heavy involvement with that. I think Sandy Camper who’s been on the show recently, and in the past has been someone that’s always made himself really available for you, and I and has helped in a number of different ways.

Matt Watson 5:49
There have been a lot of podcast guests on the show that I wouldn’t really call them a mentor, right? But they’re like, Oh, we had an amazing conversation with him. And you know, I’ve talked to him, you know, a couple times outside of the show, or whatever that’s like, just learned a lot from him. We’ve had a lot of guests like that. We’re just having incredible conversations and learn really interesting things from from people and Sandy campers. Definitely high on that list.

Matt DeCoursey 6:11
Yeah. And so that, and I said, I bring that up, because, you know, it’s one thing, sometimes you need advice when you need it, not like three weeks from now, or whatever. And as far as people I know, that have been like, wildly successful. Well, first off, Sandy is, is maybe the most sophisticated entrepreneur I know. And on a personal level, and you know, but with that if we’ve had a need or an issue, and I’ve emailed like, I mean, the dude replies, you know, quickly, or this opens the door or whatever. Now, when we move, you know, as we move forward, so the dictionary definition of mentor is simple, and experienced and trusted advisor, that’s a good I heard definition. And, and, you know, so it’s a noun and a verb. So that, so that is the the, like the person, the object, I guess, that’s a noun. And then the verb is to adviser train. And it says, And it literally says, and then it says, someone, especially a younger colleague now. So there’s a few things with mentorship that I said, I’ve had people, like you kind of like you said, now I’ve never really had a, quote, official mentor, I’ve never been involved in like Helzberg entrepreneurial mentoring program. Yeah, you know, or things like that, where I have like a structured person that you know, did stuff, I’ve had a lot of people that have given me advice and input. And with that, I feel that I have an obligation to return that favor to the world. And I think as I continue to get a little older, I think that there’s more things for me to pass on, in fact, here about an hour from this recording, and I’ve got someone stopping by for exactly that. It’s an advice and input. So now, what’s the what’s you and I both get people asking for advice and input? What’s the market? What are some of the more common things that people ask you?

Matt Watson 8:12
You know, it’s usually situational, right? Like I’ve got, you know, a few companies I’ve invested in over a long period of years. And, you know, it’s like, hey, they’re getting close to raising capital or selling the company or something, they reached out to me and like, hey, you’ve done this before. Tell me about it. Right. And, you know, I think those are those types of events are great, great places, right? If you’re gonna go through something like that in life, like that’s a great time to reach out to people, you know, that have done it right, and say, Hey, what do you know? What do you know about this? What to expect, what not to expect? What to look out for? Like all the different, you know, tell me the traps, right? And that’s one of the best things about mentors and having mentors, and just generically, advisors, right, and just people to connect to and as a startup, you go through so many phases where you may need totally different people to lean on be like, Hey, I’m trying to start this thing. How would I raise capital? Or how do I get it to market? How do I figure out my go-to market strategy? How do I figure all these things out? And you just network with different people and you learn from them and whatever, but then a year or two later, you need totally different advice, right? And you can learn everything you need to know by just listening to this podcast, right? Because we have a 52 part series about how to start a tech company that if you’re listening, you should check out but it’s just you need different kinds of help along the way.

Matt DeCoursey 9:30
Well, uh, you know, I think you’ve a good point with mentioning the you know, the tech company series, we’ll put a link to that in the show notes and I’ll make sure to that actually gets in there. But without there’s this huge availability like you look at this podcast, which the you know, the 800 episode just came out. I mean, in for the info is free, and it’s out there. You don’t even, I mean, while having someone that takes an interest in your success. says great, those same people are usually out there saying the same things and doing the same stuff on shows like this or in news articles or wherever. And I think that there has never been a time in human history where the blueprint for success was available for free and more places.

Matt Watson 10:20
Well, it’s also information overload, right. And it’s also hard to know what to trust. And yeah,

Matt DeCoursey 10:26
that’s a good point. Because some Yes, that’s who’s given good advice?

Matt Watson 10:31
Yeah. And it’s, you know, it’s, it’s who you trust. I mean, that that’s the key. And I’ve always really enjoyed being a mentor. And, you know, I, there’s some local startup accelerators, and I’ve been a mentor with some of those. And honestly, I was actually blown away by how few of people ever reached out. Like, I mean, like, I’m offering to sign up for those programs. Yeah, well, not the accelerators, but to take advantage of the mentors. Like, you know, maybe there were 10,000 mentors on the list. And maybe I just, nobody found me, but I don’t think so. But I just thought that was strange that like, like one person a year would reach out or something that was super rare, that people didn’t take more advantage of.

Matt DeCoursey 11:16
I think, I think people are afraid to ask.

Matt Watson 11:19
I highly recommend that people reach out and just have conversations with people. Because again, you never know what you’re going to learn. You just never know. It could be like, oh, there are brothers, uncles, sisters, daughters, aunt is someone so at some corporation that can really help me to or whatever, like you just literally never know. And you never know what you’re gonna learn and just meet people.

Matt DeCoursey 11:41
So when it comes to getting advice from people why? All right, so I’ll say something that pisses some people off. I have a hard time taking advice about entrepreneurship from people that have never been an entrepreneur.

Matt Watson 11:58
Can I add parenting to that people who aren’t a parent? You shut the fuck up? Don’t tell me how to parent my kids. Thank you. Same thing.

Matt DeCoursey 12:05
Yep. You know, I mean, I think with you know, as I mentioned, like, you know, well, that’s sending a parenting and so you’ve been set out in the seat, and you’ve lived it and drunk it. And, you know, I was giving someone some advice the other day, and they mentioned something to me. And I said, I bet that advice came from someone that’s never been an entrepreneur. And, and you know, and it was just like, and that’s the thing, is it. So I do struggle with that. And I say piss, I pissed some people off with that opinion, because I’m often found or heard saying things like, I don’t want to go to your panel about entrepreneurship that is full of non-entrepreneurs. Yeah. Oh, yeah. You know, like, you do not have my attention, I’m sorry. And you know, so another thing,

Matt Watson 12:49
and a lawyer there, and somebody from a VC and,

Matt DeCoursey 12:53
and I don’t want to be crappy about people that have chosen the academic path in life. And there’s some man I dropped out of five colleges, you know, and I learned some stuff out those schools. But college teaches you that to go from A to B to C to D to E to F to G. And it’s the real path of success is never like that. It’s like you go from A to C, and you had to skip B, because B wasn’t ready. And then you couldn’t get past D because D quit D showed up at work and quit on Thursday. So then you had to pivot. And you had to go to D point two. And then you know, and like, Am I just saying it’s never a linear path. And the idea that your airtight plan is going to stay airtight is stupid, because it’s not.

Matt Watson 13:43
I was thinking about, you’ve definitely mentored me before and the one time I really think about is in Las Vegas. I definitely learned some things from you in Las Vegas.

Matt DeCoursey 13:54
Do I don’t know if we want to say those out loud.

Matt Watson 13:57
Specifically, the taco truck. You know, I did not realize that the best tacos in the world came from taco trucks. But now I know it’s not Taco Bell. It’s taco trucks.

Matt DeCoursey 14:06
Yeah. Yeah. And you know, there’s no that is pretty funny. I’d love to tell you. I was the one that found that taco truck originally, but it was not. It was not and you know, who would have thought that the world’s best tacos would be in a parking lot of a store that sold rims in Chinatown. Yeah. Very, very logical. Yeah, yeah. There dude. The only reason you The parking lot was eliminated was because there was a billboard for Wang and Associates. If you remember three had three lawyers, and their names were written, and I’m assuming it was Chinese. And then there was like, there was like an American lady and it was like Brittany Lowe is weighing weighing and weighing fish. I don’t remember what it was. But yeah, so yeah, reach out if you need the coordinates of the taco truck. Assuming it’s still there. But you know, all right, so a couple of things. I think the who you’re getting advice from is important. I honestly doubt I, you know, it’s people quote me on this all the time, I did not die because I did not make this up. I mean, what’s easier climbing to the mountain, climbing up the mountain by yourself are asking those on top to pull you up?

Matt Watson 15:23
Absolutely. Yeah.

Matt DeCoursey 15:24
The thing is, is if you’re not looking up and saying, Hey, can I get a hand? Like, if you’re not yelling up, then you know, because people that are up there are busy. They’re still on their ascent, they’re not looking down, they’re usually looking up and trying to move forward. So you got to get people’s attention. I think the number one way to do that is simply to ask.

Matt Watson 15:45
Well, and the most important thing in any like startup, you know, entrepreneurial business, like community, is networking and mentors. Right. You know, if if Kansas City we’re based in Kansas city of Kansas City wants to be successful. The best way is for up and coming entrepreneurs here to be able to reach out to people like Sandy Kemper, all these different people and get their advice, right, that’s, that’s, that’s how we help pull them up the mountain, right? If there aren’t people like us to help pull them up the mountain, it’s just a lot harder to do. And the reason that Silicon Valley and some other places are so much more successful, is there’s also just a lot higher number of mentors and talent and all that stuff around that you can draw on.

Matt DeCoursey 16:28
Well, and a culture of openness, meaning like there are a few, like the people take pride in the mentor, and they want to pass the advice down. And I want to talk about that for a second. Because I’m a firm believer in the fact that knowledge is not meant to be kept meaning like, if someone transfers it to you like this is old school man, since the history of humans, there has always been a village elder that was passing the knowledge down to the next generation and the next generation and the next generation. And, you know, that’s an important thing, because and so one thing that I think that I really have learned is that that knowledge transfer is important. So you’re selfish, if you keep it, someone else was kind and generous and gave it to you. And it’s your job to pass it along to others. And I think that if you don’t do that, the world finds a weird and interesting way to not award you with new knowledge.

Matt Watson 17:22
And I mean, we’re a family like older shit is, is that what you just told me? Now that I have to teach people stuff?

Matt DeCoursey 17:30
You know, and you know, but you know, Matt. I’m kind of leaning into it. Because, you know, I turned 47 This year, and I’m not I mean, I’m not 50. And I’m also not 80. But it’s making me reflect a little bit. And I’m leaning into the like, Matt the professor kind of role in some regards. I mean, I do, I’ve been doing what I do for a long time. So if you you know, and

Matt Watson 17:51
I mean, that guy had coffee with this morning, I started my first company, I think before he was born, Warren. Stop and think, Oh, you’re like

Matt DeCoursey 18:01
the guy the guy is giving advice to the guy I’m giving advice to in an hour is exactly half of my age.

Matt Watson 18:08
Yeah, I can feel old man.

Matt DeCoursey 18:11
I know. So, want to talk a little bit about some stats around mentorship. Before I do that today’s episode of Startup Hustle is brought to you by FullScale.io. That’s the business that Matt Watson and I own. And we help you build a team of software developers, we have testers, leaders, everyone kind of a business in the box for tax for tech companies. We’ve delivered over 1.2 million hours of service and have a staff of 250 people at the moment. And you know what we mentor our clients on a lot of that, as well as

Matt Watson 18:45
some advice on how to leverage services like ours. Yeah, go ahead to get it to

Matt DeCoursey 18:51
reach out, go to FullScale.io. There’s a tab up top that says Get Started answer about two minutes worth of questions. And we’ll be able to tell you afterward if we can help or not. So now, Matt, 71% of fortune 500 organizations have a formal mentoring program. I think that says a lot.

Matt Watson 19:08
It makes total sense. Especially if you work in the hellhole of corporate of the corporate world. And you got a lot of attrition and people quit all the time because it sucks. And the only people that are left are the shitty ones. You got to mentor the hell out of them. Yeah. Isn’t that the way it works?

Matt DeCoursey 19:27
There’s the old story of mentoring as a form of training as well. And yeah, there’s the CEOs talking to the COO. And, and the COO says, Well, what if we train? What if we pay a bunch of put a bunch of money and resources into training these people and then they go work somewhere else? And the CEO says, Yeah, well, what if we don’t train them at all? And they stay?

Matt Watson 19:47
Yeah. Good point, right, because everybody’s a free agent. It’s the same problem with hiring software developers like oh, I hire a software developer right out of college, but I gotta train them and I gotta get them to learn to do do all this stuff, or I could call Full Scale and they have like experts. It’s just helped me, right? It’s like I have to invest all this time to train people, they get smart, and then they just leave. Yep, like that it’s a problem in business in general, right, like, how much do you invest in training and mentoring your employees?

Matt DeCoursey 20:15
Right? Well, I think the good people that you really want to keep around if you don’t have that this kind of stuff, or tools or whatever, and, and, you know, all admit, because they don’t learn, they want to learn. So that’s been a challenge at Full Scale, because then you know, so we’re four years old. And so we’re, the pandemic literally splits our timeline in half at this point. And we went from having, you know, hundreds of people that came to work every day where one of the big draws for young talented developers was the close proximity that they would have to senior people. Yeah. And then all of a sudden, everyone was remote. And they want to stay that way. So you know, for some of the, you know, here’s the thing you can, while this isn’t technically mentorship, you can buy mentorship, like we’ve been experimenting with Pluralsight, which helps developers like walk through training programs and do stuff like that, because we don’t want to be the organization that doesn’t train people. And then they stay. You know, so there’s a lot of tools out there that and you know, there was even a company that, you know, Lauren Conaway, and I just recorded the Top New Orleans Startups. And there was a company in there that has like, ready made training material. And, you know, like, I thought that was pretty cool, because 80% of all training programs are kind of the same. So you get that bulk out of the way that you can customize the other part around it, I mean, bottom line, the ability for you to have a mentoring program, and then maybe just have a mentoring program where other people make it a point to the you have an assigned mentor, because nine out of 10 workers who have a career mentor say that they’re happy at work.

Matt Watson 21:54
Well, I think it’s usually important, especially if you’ve got a larger core company, I mean, think of us about us at Full Scale, right? Where we have to think about redundancy in the ranks. And what if somebody quits and who are we gonna elevate that position and all that stuff, right? So it’s like, you’re always training, who’s the next person up, right? And you got to you got to train people, and you got to prepare for it. And it’s inevitable people are going to come and go, and as a corporation, it’s important to think about the business continuity of it. And that’s, that’s part of it is training.

Matt DeCoursey 22:24
Well, speaking, speaking of being promoted, mentees are five times more likely to be promoted.

Matt Watson 22:31
It makes sense to me.

Matt DeCoursey 22:33
I think it makes sense. Well, one, you’re clearly been getting good advice, but you’re probably getting it from the people that actually make the decisions about whether to get promoted. So you can be self serving there. Yeah, another 67% of businesses reported an increase in productivity due to mentoring. Yeah. Now, the numbers are really pointing towards the fact that this shit works.

Matt Watson 22:56
So my, my favorite is this last one 84% of CEOs had mentors that helped them avoid costly mistakes. You definitely helped me with the taco truck. Like, there would have been a cost I guess

Matt DeCoursey 23:09
you could spend like $200, $300 on a meal if you really want to get top shelf and why when we got tacos for $12 and didn’t even eat them all. That’s

Matt Watson 23:18
definitely helped me a taco truck. So thank you again.

Matt DeCoursey 23:21
Yeah, both. Yes. If any of you need someone to come mentor you on a Vegas trip, reach out Hey, is it

Matt Watson 23:35
Yeah, I was just in Disney World last week. And if anybody wants a mentorship about that, I’ll be glad to help you just don’t go.

Matt DeCoursey 23:43
Been there like 40 times. How many how many times have you been there?

Matt Watson 23:46
I’ve probably been there 20 times. It is not the happiest place on earth.

Matt DeCoursey 23:52
It is when you get there by the time you’re ready to go and it’s not

Matt Watson 23:56
The busiest place on Earth. Yeah, that’s fluid so taco truck instead.

Matt DeCoursey 24:01
So now when when people reach out and want advice or input from you like what’s the best what are things that are gonna get your attention and things that are gonna make you be like nope?

Matt Watson 24:11
you know, honestly in the past if somebody would have offered to buy me a cup of coffee or buy me lunch or whatever, usually I would say sure, yeah, I’ll meet you for coffee or whatever. But honestly, these days now that works remote I’m so used to Zoom and being on Zoom calls and stuff that honestly just asking for like, a 20 minute Zoom call is even less than asking like you don’t even need to buy me coffee. I don’t care like I’ll give you 20 minutes so we jump on Zoom. It’s cool. I don’t have to drive somewhere. I don’t have to put pants on like that’s awesome. That’s fine.

Matt DeCoursey 24:42
I agree. I don’t like the coffee and vote number have been like it before now because I it’s too involved man. Like if it’s from a stranger and like I don’t know who that person is. And like so for me I if, you know, I just got a lot going on man. I’m super busy. I have some people that I do mentor, like, in a structured way. I mean, Lauren Conaway is on that list Andrew is on that list and you know a couple others and, and, you know to try to like the lure of a free cup of coffee is demeaning and summer cards, I’m like, my time is not worth four hours and because I gotta get my car, I gotta go find him, I gotta go to the place, you’re gonna be there and get to come back. And like, I mean, you’re talking a couple hours out of my day. I think if you want to do it, okay, if you want to get advice or input from people, you need to make it easy for them to help you. And I have been vocal about this online. Because it absolutely blows my mind how much people ask for help. And then they they make it difficult for you to help them and I it just like it never ceases to amaze me, Matt. I’m like, God, like, you know, it’s, uh, you know, it just really does blow my mind. I mean, because if I really want your advice, I’m going to ask you, I’m going to say, Matt, okay, tell me where I need to be? How long do I have? What do I need to do to make this easy for you, if you tell me that the only time you’re available is 2am, then I’m gonna come at 2am. And I’m gonna come to you, not going to make you go out of your way to come to me if if it’s stranger. And then I think another couple things are is, you know, you need to consider, like what the trail of your invite leads to. So I had someone reach out and want advice from me. There was like a Facebook message. And I clicked the link that was associated with the on that person’s Facebook page, like the link to their site, and they got there and it was all lorem ipsum.

Matt Watson 26:47
Well, they need some advice on their website.

Matt DeCoursey 26:49
Well, yeah, that’s not that’s the wrong guy. That’s not what I do. So, you know, and then so the thing is, is like, I was considering it, it seemed like someone you know, and I got there. And I was like, wow, okay, so yeah, if you haven’t thought that out, like, you got to think about like, what’s your present presence look like online? What’s your LinkedIn profile look like? What happens when I Google your name? So and that, that kind of stuff matters, though, because people are going to look you up. So if you look like a clown?

Matt Watson 27:20
So somebody’s asked you for a meeting. I’m just curious, like, what is and I’ll tell you mine. What is like the absolute like, craziest meeting you had with like a random stranger that was in regards to this, you know, kind of networking advice, whatever.

Matt DeCoursey 27:32
What do you define by crazy?

Matt Watson 27:35
Well, I don’t know. I’ll give you mine. Sure. Alright. So I don’t know why this guy reached out to me. But I met with this guy. And he had this crazy business idea. And I don’t know if he was looking to raise capital or what but his his job is he made stuff in China and then imported it. And like, you know, small things, you know, widgets, beta toys, whatever. And he’s the problem was he says it’s took too damn long and, and he was trying to do it faster. And so he had this great idea of, of the boat would leave China with all the supplies and all the people on it. And then they would build this toys, and whatever, on the ship on the boat while it was on its way to the United States. And I just looked at this dude, I’m like, What the fuck did I get myself into, but I had to make it out of here. This is crazy, dude. I had another guy that was wanting to he had this idea of it. He wanted to create like a new cell phone like to compete with Android and Apple. And there was like, one tiny little thing about it. That was different. And I just like, God bless you, dude. Like, okay, sure. Like he meets some random people is my point like you just never know. But do you have any weird stories?

Matt DeCoursey 28:48
Yeah, it’s not necessary. So I’m pretty specific. Like I kind of qualify some stuff. I’ll do a little online, chitter chatter with someone before I’m going to agree. I don’t just blindly take the meeting. You know, there’s some people that have the school of thought, like, take all meetings, explore all opportunities. I don’t believe in that. I think that there are some things that just aren’t well aligned. And I think one of the things that occurs is when you are perceived as being more successful, especially financially, you’re a lot more people that are that you’re in the right on the radar for asking for stuff. So for me, I asked why I’m like what, you know, like, Hey, I’d love to. So the thing that drives me nuts is like, Okay, I don’t when you email me for advice about your tech company from your, your Yahoo email, I’ve said that a bunch on the show, but it’s just like back to that. Yeah, I just don’t take you seriously. I mean, if you’re, I mean, do you would you?

Matt Watson 29:40

Matt DeCoursey 29:41
Right, so like, You got to, like have a website, you know, and like, you’re not ready for like, have a website, set up your frickin email at it, you know, and like, it’s not that hard, but get flywheel.com and they’ll help you do it. Like within 10 minutes. It’s not hard, right? Right. So Yeah. Now one thing that I have mentioned. So, you know, I think that Okay, first off, no one wants to read your 60 page business plan as an intro.

Matt Watson 30:10
No, hard pass.

Matt DeCoursey 30:11
I had, right. So I had a guy waiting for me after I gave a speech once and he comes up to me and he’s like, Hey, Matt, I really hoping you’ll take a look at my business plan. And I said, Well, what’s tell me what it’s about? And he said, I’m gonna take down Amazon. And I looked at him, and I said, No, you’re not, I don’t even want to look at it. And he’s like, What do you mean? I’m like, dude, is like, you’re not gonna, I don’t know what your idea is. But you’re not going to take down Amazon with it. And I’m not going to try with you or give you advice on it. And it goes back to like the old school like episode 12. Literal Holt advice of like, Hey, I take the cowardly approach. Yeah, that’s the that’s the ultimately brave approach right there that you’re likely you are you have a 99.99999 and repeating percent chance of failure on that one, because it’s a really tough thing to do. Now, if you came up and told me that you Alright, so we had met. And so we had on one of the New Orleans Top Startups, there was a company that built a system that notifies people out of hotel when the room service carts back out in the hallway. Right, you know what, they’re killing it. They’re the only people to do it. Right. And apparently, in the hotel industry, that’s a big deal. Because the cart sits around, it looks like shit. It’s not great. You know, like, whatever. But you know, like, you’d have more, you’d have more of a chance of getting me to take an interest in that than like, Hey, I’m taking down Amazon.

Matt Watson 31:38
It warns me if there’s a cart in the hall.

Matt DeCoursey 31:41
No, so I guess, well, I don’t want to get too far off track. No, it tells the hotel like the service. So I guess what happens in a big hotel is like they basically just have people coming in the hallways looking for when the carts go, and the trays go back out. So the problem is, is it looks like shit, it doesn’t get cleaned up and attracts bugs. People kick them, break stuff like I don’t know. But here’s the thing is, if

Matt Watson 32:06
I mean, if you’re in Las Vegas, there are also people just sleeping on the floor in the hallway?

Matt DeCoursey 32:10
Well, it’s for different reasons. I don’t know if we can make a notification system for that. And in Vegas, that would probably just go on a normal day. Normal. Now, you Matt and my book, Million Dollar Bedroom and the part where you’re in it, which is the longest interview in the book, Matt, thank you. But you even talked about that, about how the people that you knew that had been and were the most successful are all doing something weird.

Matt Watson 32:36
Yeah, they’re dealing with some weird.

Matt DeCoursey 32:39
Riches in the niches, man.

Matt Watson 32:40

Matt DeCoursey 32:40
And, you know, and it’s, you know, as we, you know, remind you that today’s episode, Startup Hustle is brought to you by FullScale.io. Sometimes a great business takes something that’s kind of broken, and just fixes it. That’s all we did at Full Scale. We, we honestly didn’t start, we didn’t become VPN partners at GigaBook and you wanted a team in the office in the Philippines that I had established over the prior eight years. And we realized pretty quickly that all of our, all of our friends, colleagues, peers, wanted to be able to have access to top talent overseas, but they had had a difficult time doing it. It wasn’t fast. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t reliable, and then more importantly, their intellectual property control was very questionable. So trust them. Well, then offshoring Yeah, but we made it a hell of a lot better and a hell of a lot easier and a hell of a lot more reliable for people just like us. So. I mean, yeah, so you know, sometimes it’s not you know, that now, I gotta be honest, that was tough to get mentoring on because I don’t know anybody else that’s ever done that. But when you look at like that 80, 20 concept, you know, in business school, Matt, they teach you that the ACME Corp builds widgets, because most of the stuff is 80% the same and then the 20% that’s different is just kind of our own twist, take or your point. But yeah.

Matt Watson 33:31
Dealing with people all day.

Matt DeCoursey 33:48
That’s the part you love, right?

Matt Watson 34:14
Nope. No, really.

Matt DeCoursey 34:17
I really don’t why I’m around is that my job?

Matt Watson 34:19
No. Good. Your job is to read the teleprompter.

Matt DeCoursey 34:26
But I haven’t had a teleprompter and not for a while because I can’t find anybody that programs that well enough like the problem if you’re gonna read off a teleprompter you you have to be committed to like That’s why Ron Burgundy says what’s ever on that screen? Yeah, the moment you’ve the moment you think about it or vary from it, it’s over. It’s game over. So okay, well, now let’s let’s do a little rapid fire because I think we gave a lot of input about our own mentoring stuff. You know, like overall When it comes to like, what are some other places you can find mentors because here it’s a Kansas City for despite being the 28th biggest media market in the country grossly outperforms other cities when it comes to startups, but we have light here we have the Kauffman Kauffman Foundation, which does a lot of mentoring stuff. We have pipeline entrepreneurs, thank you very much for supporting Startup Hustle that you can go to pipeline entrepreneurs.com, I believe. And, and then we also have hemp, the Helzberg entrepreneurial mentoring program, which we’ve actually gone and then down on a panel about their content, which I want to point out, I told the story the other day, you and I went into that like complaining, we’re like, this is two days. And then at the end, at the end of the first day, we both got in my truck and looked at each other like we got to do this a lot more.

Matt Watson 35:51
Yeah, we learned a lot from it. It was cool.

Matt DeCoursey 35:52
Yeah. Yeah. So what are what are some other places to find a mentor that, I mean, how about just general find people that are doing I’ve said this for 25 years, find people that are doing what you want to do or have and just go ask them for some advice.

Matt Watson 36:07
Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with just tracking people down on LinkedIn and stuff like that. And at the end of the day, by asking them for some advice, or using the word mentor, you’re more likely to get a response and maybe guilt them into it just slightly, right? Like, oh, I, you know, I’m young, I’m trying to figure this thing out. You’re the expert, can you give me Can you can you help mentor me just a little bit about this thing, there are way more likely to offer for help, right? Like you almost guilt them into it a little bit. Instead of the like, I want to sell you something like don’t go down that path. But just you know, pitch it of like, hey, you know, I need some help. I’m trying to learn how to do some stuff. I really appreciate any help, you can give, just trying to learn. And a lot of times you have

Matt DeCoursey 36:51
to remember this next part, I will be where you need me to be when you need me to be there. And for as much time as you’re as you’re willing to give me and make it really easy for them. And then do it. Make it easy for them to reschedule. Don’t ask for a variance in the time. Don’t do any of that. Because that is annoying. Right? Have a respect for the people. If you want advice from people, be respectful, be thankful, and don’t waste people’s time. Like I mean, that’s the thing. And then you’ll find if you do that, you’ll get more of it. You have access to it. You know, so? Yep. So Well, here we are at the end of the show, man. I mean, what other what else? Do you what else you can mentor us on about mentoring?

Matt Watson 37:42
Um, I think just not being scared to have mentors. I think there are some people that I don’t know, they don’t think they need the help, or they think they know everything or whatever. And

Matt DeCoursey 37:52
very successful, those people aren’t very successful.

Matt Watson 37:56
We all don’t know, we don’t know, we don’t know is part of it. Right? And, and just be willing to ask for help. And if you’re not sure, like, I’m thinking about starting a couple new businesses. And there’s a lot of unknowns, like I don’t know this stuff, and I’m seriously thinking about just, you know, first of all go into like Reddit or discord groups and things just asking people stuff or, you know, reached out to some people that have done this before, like, Hey, I just looking for some help man, help me out of how do I do this? How do I not screw this up? I just want a few minutes of your time this. I’m gonna do it. I need some help. I don’t I don’t know what I don’t know. But I know I need help. Just be willing to take the help. That’s the thing.

Matt DeCoursey 38:35
I think you got to be humble. You gotta be accommodated. And then remember, just because you just because you don’t have to do what the mentor says you’re looking for advice and input. And it’s it’s stuff that you take into consideration.

Matt Watson 38:49
You know, when my kids give me dumb ideas, too, I’m like, You know what, I’m gonna take it under advisement. I’m gonna put it on a sticky note, and I’m gonna put it right there. Doesn’t mean I’m gonna do it. That’s on the sticky.

Matt DeCoursey 39:00
That’s what you do for me.

Matt Watson 39:01
Yeah. Right here. I got sticky notes right here for you. See, everybody can see this on the camera on.

Matt DeCoursey 39:07
Mine are pink?

Matt Watson 39:09
Yeah, yours are pink.

Matt DeCoursey 39:10
Hot pink?

Matt Watson 39:11
They get the most attention. Yeah, the pink ones.

Matt DeCoursey 39:14
Oh, sure. Yeah, I get it. I get it. Hang on, let me pull Watson’s foot back out of his mouth now. That seems like a good place to end the show. Man. I’ll catch up with you on the next one.

Matt Watson 39:27
All right. See you at the taco truck.